Pakistan

Task force to be established for women: Ahsan Iqbal

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Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Friday announced the government will establish a national level task force for the protection of women.

He made the announcement while speaking at the conclusion of the 16-day campaign against Gender-Based Violence (GBV).

The ceremony was attended by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Executive Director Dr. Shaista Sohail, Rawalpindi Women University (RWU) Vice Chancellor Dr Alina Kamal, Young Development Fellows (YDFs) of the Planning Ministry, students and civil society activists.

The 16-day campaign was started on November 25 on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The ministry also launched its Gender Unit to ensure that all the policies made under the auspices of the Planning Commission would take the gender perspective into consideration.

Referring to the example of China and Bangladesh, Ahsan Iqbal said, “No country can progress without the active participation of women”. He added, “As a result, they showed great progress in development”.

The minister also launched a booklet that spreads awareness about violence against women and pro-women laws in Pakistan.

The booklet would be disseminated among all the universities in Pakistan through HEC.

The minister regretted that, in the past, women were not given equal representation and the country could not progress.

“The enrollment of female students is more as compared to the male students which is a positive sign,” the minister said.

According to a latest research report by the Digital Rights Foundation, 40% of women in Pakistan have been victims of cyber bullying in the form of sexual harassment, blackmailing, hate speech, stalking, identity theft and physical threats.

Lack of education is directly associated with violence against women but recent high-profile cases show that women in elite and educated circles also suffer at the hands of educated and rich men, he added.

RWU vice chancellor, in her remarks, appreciated the Planning Ministry for successfully completing this much-needed campaign which helped in creating awareness among the masses.

RWU will continue to collaborate with the ministry for creating awareness among the masses, she added.

“We are committed to the cause of women’s education – believing that it is the tool to fight GBV and make them economically independent,” she remarked.

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